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Making 'heroes' core of innovation push

Heroes are the handful of products for any particular brand that shoppers will look for and that contribute the bulk of sales and profits for both the manufacturer and the trade.

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OLD SAUCE, NEW BOTTLE: In 2002, Heinz introduced its famous ketchup in an upside- down bottle. This innovative move boosted sales by 6% when the rest of the category grew by only 2%.

CONSUMER goods companies need an innovation in innovation. The largest companies invest an average of US$1.4 billion in research and development (R&D), typically 2-5 per cent of their net sales, each year to bring new products to market. When they factor in costs beyond R&D, however,